We receive our fair share of questions regarding Search, SEO, and Google. How can we get our site to rank higher? What is the most important SEO factor? There are many ideas, opinions, and explanations of what factors into the algorithms.
View the full Periodic Table of SEO Elements on Search Engine Land
A couple of months ago, the guys over at Search Engine Land put together this Periodic Table of SEO Elements. It’s a high level overview highlighting the most important factors in Content, HTML, Architecture, Linking, Social, Trust, and Personal, and also notes things not to do to avoid negative consequences.
Instead of hard-and-fast lists of SEO "DOs" and "DO NOTs," this infographic assigns a weight to each element and breaks out the chart into multiple categories (On Site, Off Site, Violations, and Blocking) and sub categories (Content, HTML, Social, etc). This makes it easier to note the relative impact an action will have on your overall SEO rankings.
It also emphasizes that fresh, high quality, engaging content is among the leading drivers for the search engines and ultimately the user, which is just with what Google has been stressing in recent news and through the Google Panda update. The chart underscores that no single factor will guarantee results. Over 20 other factors go into search rankings (both positive and negative). Most “on page” factors, elements like Titles, Headers, Meta Tags, and URLs, have been common in the SEO industry for years. Whereas, some "off page" elements are new to the practice and might take some time to develop. Practitioners have been focusing efforts on elements like Shares, Social Media, and Reputation over the last 12 months.
Finally, there are elements that are usually associated with "black hat" tactics, such as Stuffing, Hidden tags, Link Spam, and of course thin content. These will result with a negative impact on the website.
This infographic is a great resource for both people new to the SEO world and people that work in the industry on a daily basis. It’s a great source to refer to when creating new content and web pages. Search Engine Land did a great job of simplifying how these complex concepts are communicated. The Periodic Table of SEO Elements makes it easier to both practice good SEO and communicate good SEO practices to clients.
Google now goes to +1.
Three weeks ago, Google announced the +1 button, an experiment that they hope incorporates social recommendations with search results. Since then, a portion of Google users have begun to see a +1 button next to their search results when logged into their Google accounts. If you don’t see it immediately, visit the Search Experiments section of Google Labs and enable this option.
The +1 button allows you to inform other people in your network about a website you like by simply clicking a button. It works a lot like Facebook’s “Like Button,” but it does a little more. The +1 Button also influences how these sites show up in others’ search results. Plus, users can always undo a +1 if they didn’t mean to flag the site.
The +1 button appears to the right of the search result title. Here you
can see the +1 icon as it appears after you recommend a link.
The +1 button is still in an experimental stage. If you don’t see it on Google automatically, sign in to your Google account, visit Google Search Experiments. Select the +1 button as your Google experiment.
Now visit Google and search for something. Click the +1 button, and you will see a confirmation screen (like the one below), which requires you to opt into the service.
View Your +1’s
After you have joined, you will be able to control all the pages you +1’d on a “+1’s” tab from within your Google profile. You do have the option to make this tab public through your Google profile, or keep this information private (default).
Combining Search Results with Recommendations
Google stated in their announcement, “The beauty of +1’s is their relevance—you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results).”
Google understands people use recommendations and reviews as part of their decision making on a daily basis; reviewing restaurants, purchasing TVs, cars, computers, cell phones, etc.
Google currently highlights who in your social network has previously tweeted a link that appears in a search result.
Google has been experimenting with bringing social media into search for the last couple years; allowing users to merge Google services (Buzz and Chat) with third party sites, like Twitter and Facebook.
Google currently displays results from third-party social media sites; for example, if one of your Twitter friends has tweeted a link, that is shown in search results.
For the time being, only users you are connected with through Google services will be the only ones that can influence the +1 matches. These Google based services include:
- Your Gmail chat list
- Your "My Contacts" group in Google Contacts
- People you follow in Google Reader or Google Buzz
Google has plans to allow publishers to place +1 buttons on web pages, similar to Facebook’s Like button and Twitter’s Tweet button. To be notified about when this button is available, sign up here.
Once proven and optimized, the +1 button could be a great addition to search and a major “plus” when trying to incorporate social media into the bigger SEO picture, if done correctly. One of the biggest obstacles for Google is going to be developing a large user base that users adapt to and use. This is where Facebook’s Like button has a distinct advantage; they already have a massive network of users. Will those users want to sign up for another social account that they have to create and manage? It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
Google recently announced the release of Google Caffeine, the latest version of their search engine.
To help you get ready, back in September we wrote about three things to prepare for Google Caffeine. Have you implemented those steps?
Now that Caffeine is live, here is what you can expect:
- Search results that contain more relevant content including more recent blog posts versus aging items. While people expect businesses' rankings to be affected, marketers don't yet know exactly how.
- Content will now be searchable within seconds after it is crawled. This is because Google is processing content immediately instead of in batches like before.
- You won't see a change in the ranking system, because Caffeine's big changes are in the indexing architecture. If rankings are impacted, it will be as an indirect result and only visible at a later date.
What can you do?
According to Google, there isn't much content creators can do to take advantage of Caffeine, but it will benefit publishers indirectly. However, with properly configured social media profiles, people are starting to see their fresh content indexed within a few hours of posting a link to the content via their social accounts.
Why these changes?
According to Google, "People's expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish."
Looking to dig deeper?
Read these articles on Google Caffeine to learn more.
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Google recently announced the latest version of its search engine, called “Caffeine” (a Googler friend recently told me of how they name software versions creative names, “Cupcake” is the code name for a new Android version).
For all of the buzz about Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine slowed its marketshare gains in August, growing only 0.23% from July to an August search market share of 9.65% (according to this release by StatCounter.com). Google gained 0.29% to a total share of 77.83%. Clearly, Google will remain the dominant force in search for a long time to come. Stay focused on growing your rankings on Google while keeping a casual eye on Bing and Yahoo with their new search partnership.
The primary differences between the current search engine and Google Caffeine? Speed and real-time search results, according to Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim article. Now that a< href="http://search.twitter.com">Twitter Search is becoming known for delivering real-time results about conversations happening right now, Google's new results will begin prioritizing current results as well. The search giant has thrown more horses behind your search, too, with search results now coming to you up to twice as fast, according to speed tests.
Here’s what to do about Google Caffeine:
- Compare your old rankings with your new ones using this comparison site ( http://www.comparecaffeine.com/search-com.php).
- Read what the experts have to say about making sure your rankings stay high:
- 6 Things to Expect if Google Decaf Gets a “Caffeine” Boost
- Google Caffeine: A Detailed Test of the New Google
- Google Caffeine FAQ: Your Questions Answered
- Work with your SEO vendor to be sure your sites are up to date. Even if you don’t engage them on a full project, consider hiring them for an hour to review changes you’ve made and allow them to communicate their consolidated knowledge on the topic (they read this stuff all day and use it in the field).
- If you’re already a KeyLimeTie client, or if you don’t yet work with a dedicated SEO team, give us a call and ask about staying optimized for Caffeine.
Extra Credit: If you wish, you can also help Google test the new search engine by following the steps in Google’s own blog post.